US retains sugar imports quota for PHL

The United States has again granted the Philippines a sugar imports quota of 142,160 metric tons raw value (MTRV), equivalent to 135,508 metric tons (MT), for fiscal year (FY) 2017.

US Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman on Friday announced tariff-rate quota (TRQ) allocations for the next fiscal year, which will begin in October.

“The allocations are based on each country’s historical shipments to the US,” the USTR said in a statement.

Countries authorized by the US to export sugar under the TRQ scheme may do so at lower duties.

The Philippines was given the third-largest allocation of the total 1.12 million MTRV in-quota quantity of the TRQ, next to the Dominican Republic and Brazil, which received 185,335 MTRV and 152,691 MTRV, respectively.

The TRQ is the minimum amount to which the US is committed under the World Trade
Organization agreement.

So far, the Philippines was able to deliver to the US its regular allocation of 142,160 MTRV.

For FY 2016, Washington granted the Philippines an additional quota of 12,194 MTRV.

However, it remains to be seen whether sugar traders will be able to deliver the additional allocation. Philippine Sugar Millers Inc. President Francisco D. Varua earlier said it will be “costly” for traders to ship this volume.

“The [12,194MTRV] volume cannot fill up a boat, since chartered ships would normally be in the category of 25,000 to 30,000 tons. To charter a vessel of 12,000 tons would cost expensive dead freight,” Varua said.

Sugar Regulatory Administrator (SRA) Ma. Regina Bautista-Martin said traders are still looking for ways to deliver the additional quota.

As of May 8, data from the SRA showed that the country’s raw-sugar production for the current crop year declined by 5.24 percent to 2.17 million metric tons (MMT), from 2.29 MMT in the same period last year.


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